The St. Louis Rams have a little extra riding on a quick resolution to the NFL lockout. Sam Bradford and the rest of his teammates are schedule to start training camp a week earlier than the rest of the league because of an August 7 date in the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, OH. However, with peril surrounding the talks between players and owners, it's looking more and more like the Rams will get a late start and could even miss the Hall of Fame Game.
Judy Battista from the New York Times is reporting today that a deal coming during the week of July 10 is more likely than a deal coming sooner. Completing a deal doesn't mean the instantaneous resumption of business, remember. Teams would likely get a week to prepare for free agency and all the other things that they used to have months to handle. That would leave the Rams a week, maybe, to pursue free agents and sign their rookie draft picks before the start of training camp. Not only does it seem unlikely, it seems like it would put GM Billy Devaney and his contract guy, COO Kevin Demoff, at a disadvantage compared to other teams.
Cancelling the Hall of Fame Game represents lost revenue for the NFL, making that possibility unlikely, though not out of the question. The Rams wouldn't necessarily have to have all of their draft picks signed or free agent shopping done by August 7, leaving the current roster to play in that extra preseason game. Still, having guys out of camp for as long as two weeks, especially rookies, hurts the team.